C3 – IT’s Ticket to a Bigger Seat at the Table

Confessions of an IT Director – “Initial cloud anarchy caught us by surprise…”april13_alley

Here’s the good news: IT professionals have evolved and are well positioned to lead as the next wave of cloud innovation addresses increasingly empowered customers and business users.

The next wave is called C3. Interactive Intelligence defines C3 as the next generation cloud platforms that offer comprehensive collaboration, communications and customer engagement services.

Dr. Don Brown, CEO and chief visionary of Interactive Intelligence, explains:

“Companies are going to try to reduce the number of vendor relationships they have. This is not a new trend, but we believe, especially with the emergence of cloud technologies, companies are going to be looking at making just a handful of key partnership decisions. And we’ve done the same sort of thing ourselves. So, companies will decide, ‘What’s the main HR provider that we’re going to use?’ ‘Who are we going to use for customer relationship management?’ And then, ‘What are we going to use for the back end of our business – the ERP and finance?’ We think that there’s a whole range of other areas – the areas where we play – that will collapse into a single relationship. And the phrase that we’ve been using to describe those areas is ‘collaboration, communications and customer engagement’ or C3.”c3 image

It just makes sense! C3 has been the missing piece of the enterprise cloud pie. Think about all the disparate collaboration and communications tools in the hands of business users. The point solutions and risky cloud plays in the contact center. It’s still the Wild West. Security, reliability and scalability are a big deal for these mission critical applications and companies are highly exposed using solutions that aren’t enterprise grade. Users aren’t satisfied either – they hate having to work with multiple applications/interfaces to get work done. Customers are fed up with inconsistent experiences too. And it’s complex and expensive to operate this way. Nobody wins.

Where there’s pain there’s opportunity, which is exactly why C3 can be IT’s ticket to a bigger seat at the table. It’s an opportunity to gain strategic partner and trusted advisor status by ushering in a new way to deliver significant, tangible business value.

Here are five steps IT leaders can take to get started.

  1. Learn – Talk to analysts, consultants and providers to get a feel for who can deliver on the promise of C3. Understand what they offer – architecture and functionality. Be sure to check out Don Brown’s white paper to learn more about Interactive’s latest C3 play.
  2. Use – Start using C3 applications. You’ll learn more than reading brochures and weeding through RFP responses. PureCloud Collaborate is a great place to start – it’s free.
  3. Diagnose – Find out what’s preventing the business, and individual executives, from meeting goals and objectives. Find out where user and customer pain points are.
  4. Prescribe – Look for quick wins where a small group of users can benefit greatly with minimal risk. Have them start using C3 applications. Be ready to provide support and gather feedback.
  5. Accelerate – Take what you’ve learned and start evangelizing to key stakeholders and senior management. Get executive buy-in for standardization and rollout.

This is truly an exciting time to be an IT leader. You’ve evolved and so has the market. You can help your company reinvent the way work gets done to remain relevant in what Forrester calls “The Age of the Customer” and with multiple generations of users that desire to collaborate, communicate and engage in unique ways.

In the spirit of baseball season just getting underway, this could be a homerun for IT.


Jason Alley

Jason Alley

Jason Alley is a senior solutions marketing manager for Interactive Intelligence. Since his employment in 2010, Jason has helped Interactive Intelligence develop market requirements and go-to-market strategies for contact center, customer experience, and cloud solutions. Prior to Interactive, he spent ten years consulting with large enterprise contact centers and suppliers for Vanguard Communications, and a company he later founded, SmartContact Consulting. Jason spent the first seven years of his career in sales, marketing, and product management roles working for Aspect, Hipbone, Nortel, and others. Jason received his bachelor’s degree in business economics from UCLA.